Book Review: Jingo by Terry Pratchett

Jingo by Terry Pratchett
Jingo by Terry Pratchett

Title: Jingo

Author: Terry Pratchett

Genre: Fantasy, Humor, Science Fiction, Magic

Publisher: Corgi Books

Published: February 26, 2006

Page Amount: 461 pages

Blurb from Goodreads: ‘Neighbours… hah. People’d live for ages side by side, nodding at one another amicably on their way to work, and then some trivial thing would happen and someone would be having a garden fork removed from their ear.’

Throughout history, there’s always been a perfectly good reason to start a war. Never more so if it is over a ‘strategic’ piece of old rock in the middle of nowhere. It is after all every citizen’s right to bear arms to defend what they consider to be their own. Even if it isn’t. And in such pressing circumstances, you really shouldn’t let small details like the absence of an army or indeed the money to finance one get in the way of a righteous fight with all the attendant benefits of out-and-out nationalism…

Why Read: Because I’m a Terry Pratchett fan (as all of you know from Feet of Clay) and the mentioning of Sam Vimes in the blurb – it was too much to ask me not to read it.

Review: I found Jingo to be a more serious Pratchett novel than his others like The Hogfather. But somehow, that made it all the more better. The battle between Ankh Morpork and Klatch was rightfully reminiscent of all the conflict between Middle Eastern and Western cultures. I cannot express how fantastic I found the novel. As fantasy, like it is, I would recommend this to any IR student or person interested in different cultures.

Firstly, from a perspective purely concerning characters – Vimes and 71-Hour Ahmad are the pair to focus on. Although we do not formally meet 71-Ahmad (with his backstory) until close to the end of the book – his actions combined with Vimes are what moves the novel from a straight-shooting war-humor novel to one that really examines the differences between East and West.

From a plot POV, good god Pratchett- yes thank you. In classic Pratchett style, the book reminds you every 10 pages or so, that for all its real life applications, it is a Pratchett book with trolls, dukes and raining fish. But at least for me, the reminders served to just tell me that fiction can be just as informative as the news. There’s no doubt the smaller actions of Vimes and 71-Hour Ahmad respectively determined the war’s course and that what is not guns or more violence to solve violence.

As a matter of fact, it only gets worse. Let’s play sports instead of war, Carrot says, and even though that may not be “the solution”, it is certainly one. Who says that sports would not help the world funnel aggression and anger into something constructive? We’ve never tried it before, at the very least.

But on a more bookish note, yes – I couldn’t find holes in the plot… when everything has an answer, even the fate of the small demon organizer, what problems are there to find? So 4.5 Stars for you, Jingo. Who else can combined the sheer craziness of an island appearing suddenly in the ocean and the real problem of West vs. East.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review Coming Soon: Inferno

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